I didnâ€™t sleep much on the flightâ€¦I was just too excited!!! But at least I had a person sitting next to me who was willing to lend me her ear, a student from Minnesota traveling to Ireland with a group for a class project. She was probably regretting sitting next to me by the time we landed, though, because I think I talked her ear off.
We arrived into Schiphol airport at 8:30 AM. Julie from California had already arrived about an hour earlier, so I spent most of the morning trying to find her; to no avail. Lynn was arriving at 11:00 AM, and Brett and Erin were going to be there at that time to pick all of us up.
I waited at Lynnâ€™s gate, wondering if I was ever going to find anyone, when I spotted Erin and Brett coming up. This was the first time meeting Brett, as it would be for Lynn and Julie. But when Lynn came out from her gate I immediately recognized her. Next we found Julie, and then our journey to Dusseldorf began.
As we neared Brettâ€™s car I was getting concerned that there wouldnâ€™t be enough room for 5 people and our entire collection of luggage. I was packing more than usual since I had several things for the NYE meet-up to bring. As it turned out, we had just enough room!
Once in the car and on the road, I could sense that we were all going to get along fabulouslyâ€¦just a bunch of crazy, fun-loving travelers ready for some European adventures.
As we drove on, toward Germany, we started scheming to stop by Ketâ€™s since we would pass right by his town. So Brett called him and gave him forewarning that we would be by. Our next stop was at a service station where there was a windmill nearby. We spent about an hour there having breakfast and taking pictures of the windmill. Next stopâ€¦Ketâ€™s!!!
Packing ourselves in Brett's car at the airport.
I felt like I had already met Ket several times as much as we had communicated through TB, but this was the first time. We proceeded to invade his apartment, use his bathroom, empty our trash, look at his Playboys, drink his water, take pictures, and the girls also had to sit on his bed! haha And then we decided we would just kidnap him and take him to Dusseldorf with us since he had not planned on going. The next thing he knew we were storing our luggage at his place and stuffing Ket into the back of Brettâ€™s car.
Not too much later and we were crossing the German border!!! So, we had to stop at the service station to get pictures and gas. This was the first time in Germany for Lynn and me, and I canâ€™t remember if Julie had been there before, or not. We were so excited!!! I also tried to get pictures of some German policemen at the station, but they wouldnâ€™t have any of it. Next stopâ€¦Dusseldorf! One of the things I always wanted to do was drive fast on the German autobahn!!! Brett was very courageous in turning the wheel over to me, and the next thing I knew I was driving 140 mph on the autobahn!!! I loved it, but the girls in the back must have been terrified!!! (just look at their expressions in the photos) Ket couldnâ€™t care lessâ€¦he was snoozing in the back.
Just before arriving into Dusseldorf I stopped at one of the â€śausfahrtsâ€ť to give the piloting back to Brett.
This was another anxious moment because we were about to meet the Dusseldorf meet-up gang, many of whom I never had met, including fellow chicken Jos! I was a little sad that the one person I wouldnâ€™t meet in Dusseldorf was Lauro. Of course, Lauro was in the Philippines, so weâ€™ll have to wait until next time. And I was also disappointed that Liz couldn't make it, either, because of her car breaking down at the last minute on her way to the airport:( We dropped everyone off at the train station and then Brett and I looked for a place to park. When we walked back to the station, the gang had already formed. There was Anna, Jos, Lieke, Sal, Sven, Thomas, Tom, Erin, Julie, Lynn, and Ketâ€¦well, I donâ€™t actually remember everyone who was there at that point. But later we also had Ralph, Wade, Thy, Rosi, Ragnar, and Sebastianâ€¦am I forgetting someone???
As this blog is called a whirlwind tour, you have to understand I mean that literally!!! Hence, many things I recall may not exactly be as they were, or in chronological order.
So please donâ€™t hold me responsible for the accuracy of events as they unfold in my story! LOL! I donâ€™t remember the name of the pub we went to, but it was evidently the same place where the big Dusseldorf meet-up was held. I will have to come back and fill in all the details of the night by looking at the pictures (pictures help refresh my memory). After spending time here we found our way to a restaurant to have dinner, and the next thing I knew we were back in the car to take Ket home and then to Brettâ€™s. Lynn, Julie, and I were all probably dragging by now from the combination of jetlag, no sleep, and a crazy night of drinking and socializing. It was a fabulous night! And it was great meeting new TBs!!!
Okay, now to get the luggage in the car!
Okay, Erin just informed that we visited the windmill the next day! LOL! I told you I am not responsible for the chronological order of events!!!